Filling time at grandparent's (Childhood)
Enticed, gazing through criss-cross fencing
at Preston Road station platform.
Ignoring the fierce, frightening through trains,
rushing past his feet,
and British Rail on the far tracks.
He watched the common red ones,
with flared carriage bottoms,
waited for the rare, pale red ones,
with oval end windows, and
the very rare brown ones,
with delicious slamming doors.
He waited for them,
guessed which would next appear,
studied them, their sounds and lines,
made stories about them,
longed to ride them,
I suppose he loved them.
Then silver ones appeared,
and he was transported.
Really transported, as
on a rare trip to Baker Street
his big-hearted, patient gran
was persuaded to miss two red ones
to ride a silver.
A holy experience.
Surely, the little boy mis-remembered.
Surely, there never was a time,
when the Metropolitan line,
had four stock types. Surely.
But no – the silver A stock rolled out
in initially small numbers,
from June twelfth nineteen sixty one.
The last year for the brown T stock,
the lovely clunky, slammy, brown T stock.
While the red P stock
and the oval-windowed F stock
lingered a little longer.
God bless Google for these memories.
I was that eight year old.
Never a trainspotter,
I wonder why it happened.
But the lonely child's facility for fascination
and true wonder,
for seeing magic in the ordinary,
I want it back.